Sunday, March 27, 2005


Well, it felt good to get that off my chest! Downright cathartic. Thanks to those who left/emailed comments. (This has been rather a "head" blog so far... and I suppose I will soon enough climb back into the head. The head can be a safe place, though it does get stuffy after a while.)

I was just reading Writers on Writing, Vol. 2 , and says Anne Beatty in an essay therein (entitled, plainly enough, "Essentials Get Lost in the Shuffle of Publicity"):

There's an industry out there, sprung up around writers... To many, writing is not so interesting as being a writer, and when writers go on tour, it reinforces people's belief that it's all in a package: you create something… you get out there and network and promote it all the way to success, because success is the American Way.

In my opinion, writers have been overexposed, caricatured, asked specious questions to elicit amusing answers, their faces printed on coffee mugs. There are too many of us, and M.F.A. programs graduate more every year, causing publishers to suffer snow-blindness, which has resulted in everyone getting lost. We are all inundated with endless appearances from writers who become Mary Poppins every time they publish again: they drop out of the sky to be booked anywhere and everywhere, say sensible things (the opposite is also nice, and will suffice), then disappear.

Writers are afraid not to be out there, for fear that they'll be completely lost in the shuffle, but paradoxically, by getting out there we add to the problem…

Whoo. Writers on coffee mugs?

I think I saw a Walt Whitman coffee mug once.

Maybe I should print up some Brian Campbell mugs. Guatemala & Other Poems mugs. For poetry reading satellite sales.

Ms. Beatty, though, seems to be suffering from a malaise of our literary age-- competition-weariness -- and, however astute her observations, I strongly suspect that they come out of a deepset case of Special Person Syndrome (in my last post, I called it a complex; now it's a Syndrome). However "successful" she herself may be.

Takes a case to know one.

(But I think I've found some means and perspectives to make my Syndrome all but disappear, so that what's left will work to advantage -- touch wood, or rather, woodwork...)

Anyway, count your Easter eggs (we all have them, figuratively at least). May they hatch into poems -- or poetic acts -- that resound throughout eternity.



Brian Campbell said...

That was weird...

A. D. said...

Yeah there are a few of these folks going around--bizarre cut and paste blog-comment spammers.